Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Top 10 Plans This Weekend

I'm very excited to be picking my parents up from the airport today and start the Thanksgiving festivities.  Here are our plans:

1.  Run in the Turkey Trot

2.  Eat too much at Kevin's parent's club on Turkey Day

3.  Nap

4.  Shop on Black Friday

5.  Lunch on Friday with Tara and our Moms

6.  Mom and I will go pick out our wreath and mailbox decorations and put them up

7.  Maybe do a project around the house

8.  Dad hangs with Kevin and his Dad for lunch on Friday (for a salad haha - yeah right - they take him to a different dive each year on black Friday!)

9.  Watch Mills dive into the leaves in the back yard after his ball

10.  Spend quality time together

HAPPY TURKEY DAY TO EVERYONE!  Enjoy the best gifts...just the gift of family and friends!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Do you all collect Byers Choice Carolers?  I love the ones that my Mom has given me as gifts over the years.  Each year she'll add one to my collection.  I have a Maryland Santa that holds a plate of crabs and a beach chair, a traditional Santa, a wine and cheese girl like below and this year she gave me a man caroler since Kevin is now a party of the family!

I like displaying them on our foyer table.  I'll add some greenery around them in the next week or so.

And you all KNOW that I had to order ole Mills!  We couldn't leave him out!  He should be arriving any day! ;)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Getting Into the Spirit

We really didn't do much this weekend and that was highly necessary.  Friday night we went to Kabutos for dinner then went to Wal-Mart afterwards.  Exciting I tell you!

Saturday we got things done around the house and I got some Christmas decorations done.  That afternoon we went to our niece's 2nd birthday party.  It was Minnie Mouse themed, too cute!

Sunday I just HAD to get a tree.  We really weren't going to this year because of our holiday plans but we ended up going ahead and doing it.  Our high hopes of a cute Christmas Tree Farm didn't work out when I figured out how far it was and that it wasn't even open.  Instead, we went to Lowes and got our first Christmas tree EVER!

And brought it home on the roof of my car.  Luckily it didn't fall off.  I'm sure the beach towel underneath really helped haha.  

We had fun decorating it.  I got to pull out a bunch of ornaments I had never hung and relive some of my childhood with ornaments Mom had put aside for us.  I decorated most of the rest of the house for Christmas but left the wreath and mailbox for Mom and I to do this is our tradition.

Our shutters and front door were painted last week.  I'll do a post on it when it's all completely done.  They came out SO much better than I thought.  This is a custom color that our family has named, "MamaSal Green."  I know they look black but look closely, they are a lil green.  I think they're really classy.

Short week!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five on Friday

Linking up with April and Christina because it's FRIDAY!

ONE - my parents got me a picture painted of our first home together for my birthday.  My friend Katie was talking about it one day and I asked her for the lady's contact information.  Katie's mom who is a Charlotte realtor uses this lady to draw these pictures for her clients.  It is GORGEOUS and this picture does not do it justice with the light reflection on it.  Every little detail is perfect...even our plantation shutters, specific trees and lights!  It's amazing!  Mom had it framed at a shop in Maryland.  Isn't it stunning?!!  I'm super excited to find the perfect spot in our home for it!

TWO - on Wednesday night the four of us bloggers went to Pacos Tacos for a girl's night out.  From left to right - April, Laura, Me, Sarah!  These ladies are wonderful and we had such fun together!  The Charlotte blogging community is so large so it's impossible for everyone to get together all the time.  I'm glad we all have the understanding that we have to get together in smaller groups to be realistic!

THREE - Chesapeake Bay Crab and Beer soup AND Maryland Cream of Crab soup in the same day!  Yes, I was in Maryland this week for a day.

FOUR - Who has read the Reality Steve spoilers about Juan Pablo's upcoming season of The Bachelor?  I won't spoil any surprises but I'm not shocked at all the craziness this season.  And who is excited for Sean and Catherine's wedding in January, live on ABC?  Woohoo!  

FIVE - Anyone in Charlotte running/walking the Turkey Trot in Southpark on Thanksgiving Day?  I'm looking forward to starting a new tradition and doing it!  

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Monday Night Football

The City of Charlotte was CRAZY on Monday night getting hyped up for the Monday Night Football game against the Patriots.  We tailgated with some guys through my work who were in town.  They grilled steaks.  Delish.

Hello only work friend who knows about my blog.

Chaos.  Some other guys that we work with were in town from Nashville.  We all have a good time together.

This was on our way into the stadium.

7th row tickets were good!

Matteo was there!  I hadn't seen him since our wedding.  He was one of my best guy friends in college...we suffered through civil engineering together.

Kevin is crazy yall!  Look at that smirk!

Mills HATES being uptown.  The only part he is semi-okay with is the balcony because he likes the breeze out there.  Take me home he says!

Dee works in the building across from our condo so I texted her and told her to look outside at Mills.  She took this picture and sent it to me.  It was SO cold out there!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Year in Review - Travel

Wow, we were really fortunate to go to a lot of places this year.  I feel like I went all over creation and I'm thankful for the opportunity to be able to travel.  Literally, I'm living in dream world.  It's unreal!  

2013 in review, not including my work travel (Chicago, Houston, Ohio etc.)...

Charleston - Kevin's work trip

Maryland many times - home

Nashville twice - Bachelorette Party and Kevin's work trip

Maui - honeymoon

Oahu - honeymoon

Blowing Rock and Charleston again - two bachelorette parties

Philadelphia - Lindsay's wedding shower

Las Vegas - chaos

Wilmington, DE - Lindsay and Vlad's wedding

Rome - add on to Kevin's work trip

Florence - add on to Kevin's work trip

Monte Carlo - Kevin's work trip

Paris - Kevin's work trip

Asheville, NC - Emily's bachelorette

Pawleys Island, SC - seeing my nieces

Bahamas - took bossman there for his birthday

Mexico - Brad and Shauna's wedding

Florida - Lindsay and Chris' wedding

We still have a couple more places to go later this year!  This is the time to go and travel!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Couple New Healthy Meals

So November 4th, Kevin went on a diet.  Like a real one.  Like a 'I'm going to lose 70 pounds diet.'

I don't really get the term "diet" because my philosophy is more that it's a change of your every day life (for forever) and that's how you should eat but we differ on that.  But I don't care what we call it - the man wants to lose weight!  And that makes me happy!

For someone who does not eat a single vegetable other than salad, it's nearly impossible to cook for him.  And most of the time, he makes dinner because he always beats me home by 1.5 hours.  But now he is on this strict "diet" and he is learning to try new things or he's going to get REALLY sick of a salad with grilled chicken on top.  So now I'm in the kitchen trying some new things!  Things that are high in protein and nothing "white."

Here are a couple meals we've tried recently:

Shrimp Ceviche - two avocados, half red onion, cucumber peeled and chopped, 1 lb shrimp cooked and chopped, juice from two limes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, 5 roma tomatoes chopped, cilantro - the more the better and 8 scallions.  DELISH my friends and less than 300 calories.  No chips necessary to use to dip!

Brats and Veggies - We took a package of beer brats that were in our freezer and cut them in 12 bites per brat and sauteed them.  I put those to the side and sauteed green peppers, onions, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.  No oil used at all.  I did add some Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and garlic powder for some zazz.  Add the brats back in, warm them and serve.  Dinner done.  This was split into 4 portions so each portion was about 350 calories, included protein and again, nothing white.
Please share any meals you've made with no carbs and lean meat.  We're always looking for something new!

Monday, November 18, 2013


Literally I feel like I'm living in a dream this year.  It has been the most unbelievable year and it got even better this weekend.  Friday night we went out with Kevin's parents to Maverick Rock Taco.  It was really good and fun for something different!

Saturday Mills and I ran and then did some errands.  We got ready down at the house and then went uptown to our condo to go out.  

We broke out a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.  Are you all like us and just keep all your good bottles and never drink them?  This was a treat and a bottle that bossman gave me last year.

I thought Kevin and I were going to Basil for dinner then to a couple new places uptown.  Little did I know...

My girlfriends had made a bunch of appetizers and had a big ole set up down on the 10th floor.  I had been bugging all of them to see if they were out and about but they all had plans.  Well their plans had been organized by Kevin and the girls pulled the party off.   They are too sweet!

Tara had even brought me tanquerey and tonic with fav!

And friends just kept stopping by and coming in.  It was crazy and I'm so thankful for my friends!

The group as we left Avenue.

We walked to Howl at the Moon where Kevin had bought 4 tables with our name on it.  And then it just got wild..

Lauren, Tara and I.

My girls!  

It was a special treat that these two came.  We hadn't seen them since our wedding but live in the same town!

Kevin is a keeper.  He really got me this year!  I had no idea!

Kim and Hunt.  She put the message on the High Roller board and had me up there dancing on stage!

We ended up taking a pedi-cab back to Avenue...all two blocks.  Kevin's feet were killing him from new boots.  But after a serious business bar tab, what's another $20?!  Details details.  I love that our friends can drink.  24 miller lites, 9 fireball shots among A LOT more beverages.  Love it!  Many of the couples got babysitters and some even stayed at hotels uptown.  Everyone went really above and beyond to come celebrate and I couldn't be more thankful.  

This is the only part of uptown that Mills likes...the balcony.  

We jetted back to the house early yesterday morning.  

Crazy story...Kevin thought he left his jacket which had his phone in it, at Howl at the Moon.  We called and left them a message.  Well randomly an Asheville number called my phone.  The lady Vicky was so kind and called the last missed call on Kevin's phone (it was on the screen - they couldn't get in it because of the passcode but thankfully Kevin hadn't programmed Jay's number in so they were able to get his number to call).  Jay and Emily gave them my number and Vicky called me and said she found the jacket on the sidewalk.  He must have dropped it when he got in the pedi-cab?  Anyway, she left the jacket AND phone at their hotel lobby front desk.  There are kind people in this world!  And now it's a funny was not funny first thing Sunday morning.

Like Kevin needed to do ANYTHING else, he surprised me last night with a gift card to an equestrian center.  Every time we've ridden by this horse farm near our house over the last year, I've said it would be fun to ride a horse sometime.  I don't think I have done it since girl scouts and it sounds fun for some reason!  So that's why he gave me that.  I'm excited!

Oh and we had dinner last night at french onion and salads ever!

Thank you to Kevin and my fam and friends for the perfect birthday weekend!  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Five on Friday - House Edition

Hi friends!  Thankfully it's Friday and time for 5 on Friday!

1.  On Tuesday there were lots of cars at our house (more than what is pictured below).  Lots of people showed up to paint 4 areas of our home.  Hey, whatever it takes.

2.  Our three new lights outside.  I'm excited about these.  The others were too small.  Ignore all the shoes on our front step...the painters were there.  BEST THING EVER - the glass will be gone SOON!  I'll show update pictures when it's finished over the next few weeks.  We are changing the exterior paint colors and taking the storm door off too.  One day that crappy vinyl will be gone too and pretty wooden wainscoting will be there.

3.  Construction supervisor.  Sleeping on the job.

4.  Not house related but we went to 521 BBQ last night and it was SO good.  Kevin has been begging me to go there for months but we just hadn't.  I think the last time we were there was almost a year ago.  This time we took Kevin's Dad because his Mama was out for girls night.  It was fun!

5.  A very simple one - TGIF.  I'm so glad it's Friday.  Kevin and I have a fun weekend planned and it should be very low key.  I haven't seen him much this week so it'll be nice to just hang.  Happy Weekend to you all!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Moonshine Cologne

If you're looking for a gift for your brother, Dad or significant other, be sure to check out this cologne.  I gave this to Kevin a couple years ago and it's my favorite I've ever smelled.  A guy at my office told me about it....two of his fraternity brothers from UGA started it.  Here is the website.  Highly recommend!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Last night I hosted bunko at our house for the neighborhood girls.  It's always a good time and I was excited for my first time hosting.  So excited that I had painters and electricians at our house all day long yesterday so the smell of paint was amazing...or not.  Not my finest decision.  I did turn to Williams Sonoma Mulling Spices which are the most amazing things ever just so you know.  They work magic to make your house smell amazing during the holidays.  I've used them for years.

First things first, glasses with no water spots.  I shined each glass the night before!

Here's a peak at our new light hung in our foyer.

Diana's Punch was a big hit as usual.  Perfect cocktail for a ladies party!

I made a couple appetizers.  First the Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Crostinis.  I loved these and it was nice to be able to prepare them earlier in the day.  Second, the easiest dip known to man via The Lushers - Corn Dip.  

For bunko, you have to put snacks on each table - something sweet and something not. 

We have no furniture in our living room except this drop leaf table so by all means I set that sucker up.  It worked perfectly!  The chair selection was even more exciting.  Random.  Oh well.  

It was a good but late night.  I am trying to stay alive today while going back and forth to check on the painters who are there again this morning.